Things to Look for in a Brush for a Golden Retriever
To help you pick the best brush for your Golden Retriever, you should keep the following in mind:
With lots of brush types on the market, it can be confusing to figure out what’s right for your dog. A pin brush or combination brush are good choices for daily grooming. Slicker brushes help to remove mats and tangles, which is great for keeping your Golden’s coat in good condition.
A comb can be helpful to detangle mats you find during grooming. A comb can also be used on feathered areas, meaning hair that’s typically longer than the rest of the coat behind the ears, chest, legs, and tail. Rubber or plastic grooming brushes can be helpful to gently remove excess hair and massage your dog to stimulate natural oil production.
De-matting and de-shedding tools can be very useful to tackle mats and get rid of loose hair. These should be used less often and with care. They’re especially useful when your dog is going through a period of heavy shedding.
A brush made from high-quality materials is likely to last longer and generally be better quality for your dog. Look for high-quality plastic or wooden backs. Brushes with wires, pins, or bristles should be sturdy yet gentle on your dog.
Sturdy and Durable
Since you’ll be doing a lot of grooming and the Golden Retriever’s coat is thick, you need a brush that’s sturdy and durable. It should be able to perform well and last over time.
Easy to Grip Handle
Brushing your Retriever can be time-consuming and quite labor-intensive (especially during shedding season), so it’s important you have a brush that’s easy to hold and that feels comfortable for you.
Correct Size of Brush
Since Golden Retrievers are a large breed, brushes with large heads will help you to get through their coat quickly and easily.
The Golden Retriever Coat
Golden Retrievers have thick, beautiful, water-repellent, coats. They’re double-coated, which means they have 2 layers of coat. This double coat keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Their thick coat starts growing in at around 3 months old and they should have their full double coat by 18 months of age. As an adult, some Retrievers will have straight hair, while others may have wavy or curly hair. No need to worry though, they all look beautiful!
Like most dogs, Golden Retrievers shed. The American Kennel Club explains that they shed: “once or twice a year, and they also shed more moderately on a continuous basis.”
The Importance of Brushing Your Golden Retriever
It’s crucial to regularly brush your Golden Retriever. Let’s take a look at why it’s so important:
- Regular brushing prevents mats which can be uncomfortable for your dog
- Brushing gets rid of tangles and helps keep your dog’s coat in top condition
- It removes loose hair and prevents your Retriever’s hair from getting all over your home, especially during heavy shedding season
- Brushing helps remove dirt, dead skin, and build up from your dog’s coat
- The brushing process massages your dog’s coat and skin, helping to improve circulation and stimulate natural oil production
- Regular grooming allows you to spot any problems with your dog’s health, including skin irritation, injuries, lumps, rashes, fleas, and ticks
- Grooming is a bonding experience between you and your dog, allowing you to enjoy time with one another and deepen your connection
- Grooming helps to keep your dog smelling and looking their best
How to Groom Your Golden Retriever
Brushing Your Golden Retriever
When your Golden Retriever is shedding normally, you should brush them at least once a week. Daily is better if possible. During shedding season, it’s crucial you brush them daily.
You can gently back-brush their coat to begin with, especially if there’s lots of dirt and debris in your dog’s coat (this is likely if your dog has been out exploring). You should then brush in the direction of their coat all over their body to get out any tangles.
If your dog’s coat is very tangled, you can use a detangling spray or some water before brushing. If it’s quite smooth and fairly tangle-free, you can brush them dry. It’s important you always brush them both before and after a bath.
Keep sessions short and use lots of praise and treats to ensure your dog doesn’t get frustrated. It’s better to do a few short sessions rather than 1 long one if your dog isn’t enjoying being brushed. It’s best to start grooming your dog when they’re a puppy to get them used to the process: that way they’ll find it less stressful.
As well as brushing, there are other steps to the grooming process you need to carry out regularly. Unless your dog is competing in shows, is a working dog, or gets particularly muddy, a bath once a month is sufficient to keep them clean.
Since the Golden’s hair is so long and thick, you should rinse them twice to ensure you get all of the shampoo out. You should then towel dry them. Due to their thick coat, it’s best to use a dog-safe hair drier to dry them off after a bath.
You should keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Clipping their nails once a month should be enough to keep them in good condition. They should also have a regular teeth-cleaning routine to ensure you keep plaque and tartar at bay.
Golden’s are prone to ear infections, so it’s important you regularly check their ears and keep them clean. If your dog has been swimming, dry the inside of their ears with cotton balls afterward to minimize the chances of infections.
In regard to cutting your dog’s hair, Golden Retrievers should never be shaved or clipped as this can ruin their double coat. You can trim your dog’s coat instead or thin it out using thinning shears if you prefer. You should also trim the hair between the pads on their feet to keep them tidy and ensure your dog has plenty of grip during exercise.
You can cut your dog’s nails at home, as well as trim their fur if you feel confident. If you are inexperienced or lacking in confidence, you can always take them to a professional groomer regularly. You should ideally take them every 6 to 8 weeks.
Brush for a Golden Retriever FAQ
How often should you groom your Golden Retriever?
You should brush your Golden Retriever a few times a week or even daily, especially during heavy shedding season. They should be given a full groom every 6 to 8 weeks, whether this is at home or by taking them to the groomers.
How do you deal with your Golden Retriever shedding?
The breed sheds a lot, but don’t panic, with regular brushing and grooming you can keep shedding around the home to a minimum.
The right brush can make all the difference when tackling that thick, double coat. With regular grooming, your Golden Retriever’s coat will be looking fluffy, tangle-free, and beautiful!
American Kennel Club, (2021), “Golden Retriever”.